According to Chinese researchers, the country’s powerful observatory may have detected signals of alien life before it got deleted. China’s FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope), also known as “Sky Eye,” the world’s largest radio telescope was responsible for the discovery.
According to a report published in the official publication of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, Science and Technology Daily, the gigantic radio telescope detected electromagnetic signals of life on distant planets. Researchers from Beijing Normal University are looking into the unusual discovery further.
“[There were] several cases of possible technological traces and extraterrestrial civilizations from outside the earth,” the report said.
The report quickly gained traction on China’s social media network and was grabbed by several other state-run media sources after its release. It’s unknown why it was removed so suddenly.
Zhang Tonjie, lead scientist of the university’s extraterrestrial civilization search team, stated that the discovery could have been caused by radio interference.
“The possibility that the suspicious signal is some kind of radio interference is also very high.”
The Sky Eye is a 500-meter telescope that will be operational in 2020 with the purpose of discovering alien life.
Dan Werthimer of the University of California, Berkeley, teams up with SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) researchers from Beijing Normal University. He brushed aside suggestions that the radio signals were from aliens.
“These signals are from radio interference; they are due to radio pollution from Earthlings, not from ET,” he said.
“The technical term we use is ‘RFI’ – radio frequency interference. RFI can come from cell phones, TV transmitters, radar, satellites, electronics, and computers near the observatory that produce weak radio transmissions. All of the signals detected by SETI researchers so far are made by our own civilization, not another civilization,” he added.
“It’s getting hard to do SETI observations from the surface of our planet. Radio pollution is getting worse as more and more transmitters and satellites are built. Some radio bands have become impossible to use for SETI.